Gattex (teduglutide) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to be used in patients that have short bowel syndrome and require parenteral nutrition.
The drug, once it is in the market, will compete against two others that have been approved by the FDA for this type of patient population. Those two medications are Nutrestore (glutamine) and Zorbtive (Somatropin).
Short bowel syndrome comes on following the removal surgically of part of the large or small intestine or part of both. Patients who are affected must have parenteral nutrition due to the poor absorption they have of nutrients and fluids. Teduglutide is injected one time each day and improves the absorption making it less important to have nutrition assistance.
The advisory committee for the FDA voted unanimously in October to recommend the drug’s approval after seeing the results from a pair of clinical trials that showed the advantage teduglutide had over just a placebo in at least a reduction of 20% in the amount of parenteral nutrition at 6 months.
During the first clinical trial, 46% of the patients that took the drug saw a level of reduction, which was compared to only 6% who had taken only a placebo. In the other study, the figure increased to 63%, while the placebo rated was up to 30%
The side effects most common found in those who use teduglutide during the trials included nausea, reactions around the injection site, abdominal pain abdominal distension and headaches.